Thinking in nine panels There were a lot of things I wanted to drivel on about this week, but they have all been driven out of my head by graphic novels. Not only have I been reading them, I’ve been thinking about writing them – which is no simple thing, but a compelling idea to […]

Words: handle with care My book club this month is reading Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex, and one particular section fascinated me. His character, Cal, says, “Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words … I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, ‘the happiness that attends disaster’. Or: […]

Break-throughs and how to handle them Sometimes you have a writing break-through – an ‘aha’ moment when something that didn’t make sense before suddenly does, or when you leapfrog a whole series of problems to a solution you didn’t know you were seeking. I don’t mean in terms of plotting or character development, although those […]

The evolution of a short story I don’t usually do this, as it seems a bit trumpet-blowing, but as I’ve already said, I had a story published at Beat the Dust this month. I’m very happy with it, partly because I love the site itself and partly because supporting online bookshops is something any published […]

Why you need an agent … If you’ve ever thought about going it alone (and who hasn’t?) or self publishing, then there are good reasons to reconsider. My experience is personal, of course, and limited, of course and … well, it’s full of all the prejudices, assumptions and neuroses that go to make me unique. […]